Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Was Going to be Garlic Thursday

I had every intention of making today garlic Thursday. Mostly because when Travis said it, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. And also because I love to cook and it would just be fun. Although I doubt that I can impart any special cooking knowledge to anyone that reads this blog since every single on that I know personally is a fabulous cook in their own right. Yes, even Travis, at least he makes some great eggs. And if I ever actually let him cook he'd probably make even better stuff than that. But we got a phone call at close to 10:00 Tuesday night and it was our life group leader asking us to lead worship at a different life group the next night. Recently our life group multiplied out because there were too many of us. We stayed in the same life group and we're one of 5 worship leaders in our group- we take turns so we lead worship about once every 6 weeks more or less depending on who's sick or whatever. But the group that went out has 1 guy that leads worship but he's also in a group that travels a lot so he can't be there all the time and that's why she called us. So yesterday was a mad rush to get ready for that and that's why we're not having garlic Thursday. But next week we will. I suppose I should add that we're also considering switching life groups. It seems that if one place has an abundance of worship leaders and another group has none then we should at least consider filling that gap.

OK, I'm not actually showcasing my flowers this time. For the past several weeks we've had these beautiful little yellow and black winged visitors that are apparently camera shy. I could drive the car past them and they just sit there and look at me but if I'm not in the car they fly off. So I started keeping the camera right next to the kitchen window and after several attempts I got a picture of this one. I've seen hummingbirds several times too but I don't think there's a chance of me catching one on camera. These little guys like the sunflower seeds. Chloe harvested a handful which is more than we need to grow sunflowers next year so I figure we'll just leave the rest for the birds. And a little word of warning if you want to grow sunflowers next season- birds will snatch them right out of the ground, I lost 5 or 6 that way this year. Southern Living says to start them indoors in peat pots (that will disentigrate after planting) and then plant them when they're about 2 inches high. I think the plants I lost were taller than that but it could have been bunnies I guess. Anyway, watch for birds. Sunflowers make me happy.
And here's a little picture of the end of my street from our front door of the nice hazy-fog-drizzle-rain that Fay left us the other day. OK, ignore the power lines- we live on a hill so they're eye level- and the fact that it was garbage day because I love the view of the hills we have from here. And I love living on a hill at times like this. I can't imagine the kind of flood we'd have to have in order to have any issues.

I got a lot of good ideas from everyone on the fall party post- thanks so much! I think I have a pretty good plan in my head now and I'm not really freaked out anymore. I'll make sure to take pictures. And I'm not even sure when it is. It's fall so that could be Halloween or Thanksgiving which means that it's kind of far away. Now I'm kind of bummed. *BUT* if we change life groups they're having a fall party and I could try out some of the more elaborate autumn desserts on them. Amber mentioned a really pretty cake and Christy mentioned a pumpkin dump cake that I can't wait to get the recipe for...yum!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Open House Tuesday!

It's open house Tuesday again and as seems to be my habit I've found a stunning historic home that is completely remodeled, in the perfect location and is probably my most recent dream home. If I'm going to be completely honest, I'm a bit of a sucker for this style of home. You can walk to downtown franklin *or* the factory from here. Could you imagine waking up on a Saturday morning and walking to get fresh, organic produce at the Saturday morning farmer's market? A girl can dream, right? But you'd probably like the know the particulars. It is a 4 bedroom ,4 bath, 2 half bath, 4,111 sq. ft. home built in 1930, and is listed at $1, 295,000 you can find the agent's listing here. I usually try to find a house that has a virtual tour as well but this house was so beautiful that I made an exception. So here we go...I love dining rooms with beautiful fireplaces. It makes me think of family dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas...and snow...The beautifully redone kitchen. I doubt that there's anything historically accurate about it *but* it's beautiful nonetheless. Another view of the kitchen.A greatroom dining combo, maybe?Beautiful staircase and gorgeous hardwood floors.I'm not sure why there's a picture of the's pretty though.The quad-shot of the bedroom. I actually hate it when realtors do this. It makes it really hard to see. I do see a beautiful claw foot tub though. And the gorgeous back porch with the beautiful back yard. The lot size isn't listed but a beautiful secluded lot, this close to downtown is a great find.
So what do you think? Is this kind of property for you? And I also want to know what you think of Open House Tuesday. Do you enjoy it or would you rather hear about my exciting life on Tuesdays like every other day? I asked Travis what he thought and he said he'd read my blog even if I have boring Wednesdays, garlic Thursdays and onion Fridays...well, he's not reading on onion Fridays...I don't know garlic Thursdays sound kind of fun...I could probably come up with something.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Meeting...

I signed up to be a co-room mom for Chloe's class this year. Partly because I want to be involved in what's going on in her classroom and partly because on the application for the homeschool academy there's a whole page for my kids teacher to fill out about me and how involved I am at school. Not that I know I'm homeschooling or anything like that but it's good to be prepared 'just in case' and again, Chloe goes to school there and her seeing me there means a lot to her. So we had the room mom meeting this morning at 8 am. Really, why does this school insist on doing things so.incredibly.early? I mean, yes, we're all there already because we take our kids to school *but* I'm back in the habit of taking Chloe to school in my pajamas. I was walking her in every day but she would cry and hold on to me and say " I miss you mommy, please, I want to go home". And while it may seem mean to make her walk herself in, it actually helps her to feel more independant. And more independant means less crying for her and less stress for me. I actually left school in tears a couple of weeks ago. But there was no pajama wearing drop off for me this morning. I had to get up at 6 and shower and actually look presentable since I was going to be in an actual meeting. And while I'm sure there are those of you scoffing at me for complaining about getting up at 6 because you get up earlier than that, I look at my pajama wearing drop offs as kind of a perk. You know, everybody loves perks. And though being a stay at home mom is rewarding, I don't get perks like I used to when I worked. Things like gift certificates, free lunches, etc. I suppose that lots of hugs and kisses are a perk of being at home too.

Anyway, so as a co-room mom (our school has 4 room moms per class, I think that's a lot especially considering there are 5 classes in each grade= 20 room moms per grade!) I have to organize one party a year and wouldn't you know it- I got the fall party, which is coming up fairly soon. I'm a little nervous because I'm not *exactly* a whiz when it comes to things like this and of course I want it to be fabulous. I'm going to e-mail Chloe's teacher as the date approaches but if anyone has any party ideas or links for party websites I'd be happy to see them. I should say peanut free party ideas. There are kids with peanut allergies in her class so the only time they can have peanutty stuff is at lunch. The poor peanut allergy kids have to sit at their own table. It may not be a big deal now but I really feel for them in middle and high school.

And I guess that I'm done rambling for the day. But I'll leave you with a couple of photos (I know you're just *dying* for more plant life photos) since my blog also serves as a journal for me to remember what I planted and how it fared.
My Chianti sunflowers finally bloomed. Very autumnal, no?
I got some inspiration from Ms. Tee and found an unexpected vase for some cosmos and for some poor parsley that accidentally got caught in the window when I closed it this morning.

And the two little princesses. I couldn't resist. Halle has insisted on wearing her princess dress anytime she's at home lately. And Chloe has discovered the joy in being picture-goofy. I love it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Orange Cosmos

I finished another watercolor last night. I'm actually starting to like watercolor because the ones I'm doing are simpler and I can knock one out in an evening. I used the orange cosmos that I'm growing as inspiration and actually stood on the kids slide to sketch most of it out. Yeah, their that tall- I love cosmos but I won't plant this variety again unless it's in the back of a flower garden. I've seen some that are only about 12 inches tall and I'll probably try those next year. And here's the painting. It's not an exact replica but I like it. I used to think that I couldn't be an artist because I couldn't draw things exactly the way they are. The girl that lived across the street from us could- and she's now the curator of a museum. But I'm happy with how it turned out. Strathmore watercolor paper, 11 x 15, image size is 8 x 12.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's a Girl...Maybe...

Well, it seems like fertilization happened and we have a baby pumpkin. I'm still crossing my fingers because when growing things you should never have all your hopes in one fruit in case something happens. And as it stands right now, out of 4 female blooms this is the only one that hasn't been aborted (the pumpkin aborts fruit if conditions aren't right). I noticed that the stem has gotten lighter green and I don't know if the plant will abort fruit at this stage or not. It's been a bit of a challenge for this amateur gardener but the joy on Chloe's face when she looks at it has been worth it. It's not exactly cost effective as I figure this pumpkin has cost about $20 but we can say we did it, right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Open House Tuesday!

It's Open House Tuesday at Lemons and Roses. The house we're touring today is a darling little cottage in the heart of downtown Franklin. It's a two bedroom, one and a half bath, with 1,475 sq. ft. that's listed at $424,900. That's a pretty big chunk of change, I think, but let's see what you think. And you can find a full virtual tour here.

This is what the listing agent has to say about this home-

"Charming historic cottage in convenient downtown Franklin just steps away from restaurants and shopping. Completely renovated with hardwood floors, slate tile, and granite. Vaulted ceiling in den adds to an open feel. " I think it looks sweet and unassuming from the outside so why don't we step inside for a look. I love the rocking chair front porch.

Here's the den with wood floors and painted wood paneled walls and ceiling. There are much better pictures of this room on the virtual tour. The formal living room with beautiful fireplace. I actually like the moulding painted that color. But what do you think? I'm not loving the rug in there but it doesn't come with the house, right?Galley style kitchen with slate floors. I love that transom above the door. I'm going to guess that the den is an add on because that looks like an exterior door, doesn't it?

The dramatic formal dining room with beautiful fireplace. I think that this could be a double sided fireplace for the living room and the dining room.
Here's the full bath. I think out of all the rooms, I like this one the least. I think it's the rusty bathtub. Yes, it's probably a style thing.

Another view of the living room and gorgeous staircase.And a bedroom with, um, a ceiling fan. I hate it that they don't show it in the regular photos, but on the virtual tour they show an upstairs bedroom that was made by finishing out the attic. It actually has what I think is the brick chimney going through a corner of it. Here's the built in covered porch. And really, what good southern cottage doesn't have one of these?
And the beautiful, and nicely sized backyard.
And that's a wrap. So what do you think? Is it worth $288 per square foot? I think it's absolutely darling and the location is perfect. But I'll just have to keep gawking online, thank you. Are you ready to make an offer?

This Past Week...

This past week was a flurry of activity that was fun but kept me really busy. And I was still recovering from a sinus infection that held on for weeks (4, I think) but I'm better now and my body is telling me it's time to get up from the computer and workout. And yet I find myself happily clicking away and looking at the amazing amount of stuff that's on my wish list at I'm not sure why I have a wish list, since I forget about this stuff as soon as I've clicked it. But then I go back and look and think, "Oh yeah, that's cool". But I have pictures from our little outing to downtown Franklin. It's a place I live 2 miles from but have spent surprisingly little time in. In May we went to the Main Street Festival and while trying to find a parking place I found a whole street of antique shops and little eateries that I didn't know existed. I was shocked. So I've promised myself that as soon as it's cooler (yes, I realize that in the last two weeks we've been in the 80's) I will walk it all and take lots of pictures and stop in the antique shops and grab whatever flavor of unsweetened tea that Merridee's is serving that day. Ooh, or maybe coffee if I'm feeling like it that day. So here are my narrated pictures from our trip last Thursday:

Well, I don't really need to narrate this one, do I? She loves these calf-covering converse "tennis shoes". I love the red crepe myrtles- and Amanda, of course.

Amanda and me with our ginormous sunglasses.

Lunch at the Mellow Mushroom- outside because the weather was really nice. OK, except for me because I got the seat just out of reach of the umbrella, so the right side of me got pretty toasty.And opening *today* is our very own cupcakery! I didn't know that there was such a word as a cupcakery but I think it's probably worth breaking my diet for the day. Mmmmm...
And then there was the visit to the Iron Gate. Which I told my mom she would 'totally regret forever' if she didn't go inside. I've always loved this store and they definitely have a shabby chic vibe- of course including Rachel Ashwell- and others. I have read that shabby chic is dead but I still like aspects of it. Travis would never go for a rusty table anywhere in our house but I do love furniture with white slipcovers.

So what do you think of the white slip covered-enormous- booth style dining table? I think it's cute in theory but the thought of spaghetti being dropped on it makes me cringe. Plus-again- this thing is *huge*. I've never actually seen a house that this would work in. It would have to fit a specific space or the house would have to be really big.

There was lots of white stuff...

And kind of weird stuff...Anybody want an antler chair?I loved this table. It's a sea green glass mosaic top. It seems like I should be able to make something like that.I loved this seat too but mom and I both tripped over the coffee table legs. And those glass-domed accessories would last about ten minutes at my house. There was an abundance of chandeliers as well. I liked some of them, not the more ornate or crystal covered ones. I like things more simple. Travis wouldn't be caught dead with a crystal covered chandelier at his house and since we live together there probably isn't much of a chance of us ever buying one.

And that covers the picture portion. We also shopped at Bathos and picked up a 'grapes of wrath' face masque. I think it works very well. It's very tingly but I like it. We visited Bijou that I can't find a link for but they have the cutest, quirkiest stuff. I really like it. Then we headed home and mom and dad headed home. It was a really nice visit in the middle of the week.

And tomorrow I'll be touring a really cute historic home with a slightly better price tag than the last one I toured. I think I'll have fun with Open House Tuesday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Stuff I've Been Working On

I know I said I hate watercolor as a medium but I was challenged a couple of days ago by something that Van Gogh said and thought I might give drawing and watercolor another go. I can't actually find the quote again but it made me think I should work on drawing since I usually just draw with a paint brush as I'm painting. My inspiration was a picture of an autumn leaf in a magazine *and* September being just around the corner. I promise an autumn wreath is going up on my front door on September 1st.

So, here's the drawing.

With some color...
With more color- just past the "shoot I've ruined it" stage. I have that stage in every-single-painting I've ever done.
I decided he needed a friend.
And I think I might be done.
I'm not sure what I'll do with it but I do know that I'm going to practice drawing some more. I wonder what I could do if I took a class but I'm sure I can find a lot of info on the web. That's what started this whole thing to begin with.

And here's my latest sunflower painting. It's definitely not done but I've made really good progress in the last couple of days. I'm going to try to draw and watercolor this picture so we'll see how that turns out. It's much more intricate than a couple of leaves.

Friday, August 15, 2008

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

If you've read my blog anytime in the last two years you know that I have hated my turquoise bathtub. I mean, really what goes with turquoise. Or maybe it's seagreen or seafoam or whatever *but* what it isn't is neutral white. The last homeowners decided that they'd make it go with green and put in a marble-esque peel-n-stick type tile and green striped wallpaper. And it's not that I don't understand that. In my first rental house the bathroom was tiled in retro yellow and black. Well, I decided I'd make it go with navy blue. But it didn't and I changed to white and it looked much better. Do you see where I'm going with this? Well, my parents were here this week and mom and I shopped- and shopped and shopped. Which, btw, was absolutely fabulous since none of my Nashville friends like to shop. You see, I keep it all stored up and when my mom visits I get to use all that stored up shopping energy. And while we were shopping I happened to mention that someday I would replace my paint smeared current shower curtain with a super cool one I found at Target. And wouldn't you know it, mom sneaked back to the shower curtain isle after we checked out and got this little beauty for me.

Super-cute, huh? And the bird actually matches the tub! OK, truth be told I would use this in any house with any color bathtub but it works with this one when a lot of stuff doesn't. It has a nice cottage-y feel that I love. And we'll just pretend that when I took it out of the package I ironed it, K?

I have *much* more to post about because a *lot* of interesting things happened this week- which is why I couldn't post about it. I'm also considering doing a fun thing called "open house Tuesdays" since I don't know a single person that's not at least a bit of a gawker. And if I get to showcase my most favorite city on the planet then it's even better right? Franklin, I'm talking about Franklin. Didn't you know that it's my most favorite place? It would take a really big act of God for me to leave. I got some fun pictures from around town yesterday that I'll get to also. But now I'm off to clean and paint- not necessarily in that order.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Don't Have Time...

I really don't have time to post- these past few days have been really hectic. It's good stuff but I haven't even really had time to comment on blogs. I'm reading them and I'll comment, I swear, but my parents have been in town and we've been doing stuff for the past few days. But this morning I woke up and saw this:
Isn't it beautiful? The little round thing at the base of the bloom is a baby pumpkin! Now, as long as it gets fertilized, doesn't get too hot and gets enough of everything else- we should have a pumpkin. I'm crossing my fingers.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Chloe Quote

Chloe-"I love Eric Carle books".

Amy- "Really"

Chloe- "Yeah, love 'em. This is an Eric Carle book; look at the picture".

This is her very first ever reference to her favorite author- how exciting! I think I may have a bookworm on my hands. I'm not sure which she likes more the writing or the art but either way I'm proud.

Open House is Over...

But boy, did I see a lot of great stuff and get a lot of great ideas about decorating. The biggest thing that stood out to me was kitchen cabinets painted a color *other* than white- gasp! I hadn't really thought about it before but I saw 3 kitchens that stood out because the cabinets were so amazingly not white. And I'm going to share them with you.

This first kitchen is so beautiful that it makes me want to copy it exactly. I'd have to paint the walls beige but that blue cabinetry seems so worth it. Granted my cabinets don't look anything like that *but* I started to think outside the box. You can find this beautiful kitchen at Restyled Home and it belongs to an actual, real person with actual, real kids. Go figure.
I'm really, really loving this blue- and the blue dishes. I really like blue.
But apparently I like aqua too. I found this at Random Acts of Home Decor. She was touring her new (imaginary) home and these cabinets really stood out to me. Actually the whole house did. It is a beautiful spanish colonial style in Glendale, CA. I showed it to Trav and he really likes it too.
And this one from Delightful Home is beautiful too.
OK, so all the kitchens here are several steps above mine and I don't really expect them to be completely transformed simply because I've painted the cabinets but I think *I* will feel better if I paint them. I haven't wanted to do it at all because it's such a big job and quite frankly, it's taken me over two months to recover from the big wall project. I didn't want to do a thing after that but I think I'm ready to tackle something now. The cabinets are dirty and gross and a fresh coat of paint will make them feel clean if nothing else. So, here are my current paint choices. I've only been to Lowe's though so I may add some. But I think that Trav and I are leaning toward the aqua color. Of course that will mean that it will feel like summer in here all.year.long. So I'm really considering that. I love to use pumpkin and red in the fall and winter, but what the heck, it's my kitchen, I probably will no matter what color the cabinets are. Do you ever get to the point when you want to just say "screw it" and do whatever you want to because it's your house and you don't care about resale value? Well, I'm there. I want to walk in my kitchen and feel happy.

So what do you think?